chapter  8
17 Pages

Misconduct hunting: research integrity via law, science and technology

WithMARIE-ANDRÉE JACOB

Today many elite scientists and experts from different parts of the world are part of virtual global networks, sharing more with one another than with many colleagues from their own countries (Haas 1992; Boulton et al. 2012; Riles 2011; Nielsen 2012). Actors within elite science receive similar education, read and write in the same journals, attend the same conferences, obey the same courtesy rules (Lam 2010: 15); in other words, they share a culture (Strathern 2000). A notable element of this shared culture is well-disseminated guidelines about ‘good research practice’.1 There is a lot to be said about what ‘good research practice’ has come to mean in the last few decades, and why it has been so minutely articulated in some contexts and left purposefully vague in others. In fact these ‘good research practice’ norms are currently being renegotiated, and hence should not be taken for granted (Biagioli 2003, 2012; Jacob 2013). For instance, there have been calls for expanding the definitions of research misconduct comprised of Fabrication, Falsification and Plagiarism (FFP) to include self-plagiarism, ghost authorship, non-disclosure of conflicts of interest, amongst others (Farthing and Wells 2008; Goodstein 2010). Montgomery and Oliver (2009) have traced three ‘institutional logics’ mobilised to deal with deviance in science in the United States. They note that prior to 1975, the discourse was about norms and counter-norms of ‘normal practice of science’.2 It then moved, between 1975 and 1990, to a focus on the prevention of scientific misconduct; and from the 1990s to the present, to promoting research integrity.